The Toro 1800 Power Curve 38381 approaches the performance of a light-duty gas machine with the fuss-free ownership of an electric snow blower. It's also one of the easiest snow blowers to use, receiving excellent scores for handling in a professional comparison. Reviews say this electric snow blower can clear up to 8 inches of light snow, but things can bog down if it's asked to tackle heavier amounts.
As easy as pushing a lawn mower. The Toro 38381's light weight, excellent handling and simple controls make it a breeze to use, according to reviews. The 38381 is also quieter than most gas snow blowers, according to a professional comparison. Users can change chute direction while in motion, though height adjustments are made on the chute itself. With only minimal help from the paddles to propel it forward, the 38381 works best on level surfaces. Some say working with the required heavy extension cord is a nuisance, but one that most learn to live with after a while.
Small but effective. The Toro 38381 "is small in scale, but mighty in removing snow from driveways and walkways," says Joe Delulio, product expert at SnowBlowersDirect.com. According to independent testing, the 38381 is best at removing snow right down to the ground. Its 30-foot throwing distance isn't particularly impressive, though it almost matches single-stage gas snow blowers in that regard. As a light-duty snow thrower, the 38381 is best for clearing up to 8-inch-thick powder or about 4 inches of wet snow. A few owners say it can clear larger amounts without clogging by taking slow passes, but take care not to overheat the engine. The 15-amp electric motor starts quickly with the push of a button.
Long life span. The Toro 38381 has been on the market for many years, building a long, reliable reputation. In fact, some owners report their 38381 lasting 10 years or longer. Toro continues to upgrade the model, and according to a few owners, the current version features improved controls for the chute. Some users note that it is important to use a sufficiently rated power cord to avoid burning out the engine. It's covered by a two-year warranty, and comments indicate that Toro does a good job standing behind its snow blower.
The Toro Power Curve 1800 38381 is included as part of a comprehensive report on snow blowers by ConsumerReports.org. Editors rate it on power, speed, handling, controls and more. Testers use the same analysis on all snow blowers, so gas and electric models are compared side by side.
Review: Toro Power Curve 1800 38381, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Nearly 1,200 owners review the Toro 38381 here, giving it an average score of 4.0 (out of 5) stars. The majority of owners say the snow blower powers through moderate snowfall with ease and can manage heavier loads by slowing down or taking extra passes.
Review: Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2014
The Toro 1800 Power Curve 38381 joins a handful of other top-rated Toro snow blowers at HomeDepot.com. More than 350 owners rate this machine, saying it's small but powerful, capable of cutting through high snow if you go slowly. Reviews from Toro's website are also included here.
Review: Toro Model # 38381 Power Curve 18 in. Snow Blower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of October 2014
4. Snow Blowers Direct
The Toro 38381 has an A-minus rating and is recommended by editors of SnowBlowersDirect.com, though they don't mention any direct product testing. Written reviews from more than 100 owners, mostly praise its performance and handling. Every owner says that they would recommend this snow blower to a friend.
Review: Toro 1800 Power Curve Electric (18") 15-Amp Snow Blower, Editors of and contributors to SnowBlowersDirect.com, As of October 2014
The Toro 38381 is ranked as the fourth best snow blower at Viewpoints.com, and the highest rated electric model, with a score of 88 (out of 100) following just over 30 reviews. Users give it good ratings for performance, handling, durability, ease of use and engine power; they say it's best for removing a light snowfall.
Review: Toro 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower 38381 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of October 2014
The Toro 38381 earns a score of 4.6 stars based on reviews from more 25 owners. Users list its light weight, maneuverability, ability to clear the pavement and long throwing distance as top attributes.
Review: Toro 18in Electric Power Curve Snow Thrower (38381), Contributors to AceHardware.com, As of October 2014